5 Ways to upgrade your whiteboard experienceBy Sara Moseley
Using whiteboards to foster creativity and innovation in your company is smart business. According to Dr. Richard Wiseman, an award-winning psychologist, using whiteboards enhances memory, problem-solving and collaboration up to 15 percent more than merely discussing a topic. Psychologist, Stanislas Dehaene’s findings are similar. “When we write, a unique neural circuit is automatically activated…and learning is made easier,” said Dehaene.
Of course, the whiteboard has come a long way since its 1950s debut, and to ensure your company is getting every advantage that modern whiteboards and their alternatives offer, we’ve gathered an exciting list for you to browse before your next big brainstorm.
#1: Clarus Glassboards
If James Bond were conducting a meeting that required seriously cool whiteboards, it would no doubt be a Clarus Glassboard. These uber hip boards come in an array of 13 colors and custom prints and have won loads of design awards. Because the surface is made of iron-extracted glass, they are super-strong and guaranteed to last for life. You can also write on them with anything, from permanent markers and sharpies to traditional dry erase pens, and all of it wipes off with ease, as in no ghost images of ideas past haunting your boards for countless meetings to come.
Not only that, whereas a traditional whiteboard surface often houses thousands of germs and bacteria (eww!) glassboards are anti-microbial, hence their growing popularity in the healthcare and hospitality industries. Clarus Glassboards come in many doodle-worthy options including mobile boards and furniture glass, but our favorite is the Flip, which features noise canceling felt acoustic panels on one side of the board and a glass surface on the other side. When you’re ready to brainstorm top-secret innovations, you simply flip the acoustic panels and voila you’ve got a gorgeous glassboard waiting for your next stroke of genius.
#2: Dry Erase Material
Our next dry-erase innovation worthy of consideration (or at least a challenge on Project Runway) is dry erase material. This budget-friendly contender empowers you to transform any surface you like into a dry erase board, from windows, tables and walls, to doors, cabinets, floors and more.
Like contact paper, the material is relatively thin and easy to cut with standard shears, so you can create whiteboards of all shapes and sizes and place them anywhere in your meeting space. A bolt of dry erase material is approximately six-and-a-half feet long and a foot-and-a-half wide and can be attached to any surface using a variety of adhesives, such as vinyl paste for permanent installations or spray mount for removable installations. A flexible alternative to traditional dry erase boards, it is important to note that while dry erase material is sturdy, it is temperamental, so only use official dry-erase markers with this product because permanent markers and sharpies will not wipe clean.
#3: Dry Erase Paint
One of the coolest and most versatile options in the world of dry erase boards is dry erase paint. If you’re looking to go big, as in you want to transform an entire conference wall or some other large surface into a dry erase board, then dry erase paint is your answer. At the moment, there are two dry erase paint makers that are worth looking into IdeaPaint and Writeyboard.
Writeyboard offers low VOC (volatile organic compounds = non-toxic) whiteboard paint in two colors: white and clear. The clear is a cool option in that you can turn pre-painted walls into dry erase boards, allowing you to have any color dry erase board you desire.
IdeaPaint actually invented dry erase paint and it comes in several colors, including clear, and is non-toxic, too. One advantage IdeaPaint provides that others don’t is that it offers magnetic dry erase paint, which is extremely useful for creative sessions that involve mixed media (paper and other materials) or for simply attaching markers and erasers to the board. A professional grade dry erase paint, IdeaPaint comes with a lifetime guarantee that it will not crack, yellow or peel, which is pretty amazing considering all the activity it gets.
Dry erase paint can be used on wood, plastic, metal, chalkboards and other surfaces, and both makers we recommend offer dry erase paint in single-coat applications, as in one-and-done.
#4: ThinkTank Mobile
Perhaps one of the most exciting and innovative dry erase options out there is the ultra-light ThinkTank camper, which you can purchase starting at $49,000. Ideal for thinking on-the-go, the camper is completely coated with IdeaPaint inside and out, and takes mobile collaboration to new frontiers such as road shows and tradeshows, or you can park it in your office as the ultimate in-house meeting getaway.
Designed to infuse a sense of fun and creativity into meetings, the ThinkTank is also a serious little idea machine that can accommodate up to eight people comfortably, and comes equipped with all the latest and greatest dry erase markers and erasers. Created in partnership with award-winning interior designer, Primo Orpilla and his company Studio O+A, the ThinkTank is designed to empower people to capture great ideas wherever they happen.
#5: Whiteboard Apps
Given how mobile today’s workforce is, it’s a good idea to have a go-to whiteboard app that enables both in-house employees and remote meeting attendees to actively participate in brainstorms and contribute to whiteboard sessions in real time. Recently, we posted a blog featuring the Top 4 Interactive Whiteboard Apps For Remote Meetings, so be sure to check out the individual features, benefits and competitive advantages of each of these highly-rated whiteboard apps. All work across a variety of platforms and devices, so everyone in your office can collaborate with ease.
Speaking of innovative collaboration
Whiteboards aren’t the only office staple that’s become more versatile, economical and user-friendly; video conferencing has become an indispensable tool for enabling remote workers and in-house teams to connect, collaborate, create and innovate, and Highfive is at the forefront of this video revolution.
Whether your next meeting is a discussion, brainstorm or a whiteboard session, Highfive’s all-in-one video conferencing solution delivers an unparalleled face-to-face communication experience. Featuring HD video and audio, Highfive is so user-friendly, anyone can use it right out of the box to share screens, brainstorm big ideas, and more. To ensure your team has everything they need to be successful, give them a Highfive.